New York 2-6 Mayo 2-21: Exiles go down fighting

We won, as everyone expected us in advance to do. The manner of the win will, though, do more to please a battling New York side than it will the visiting Mayo team.

Twelve points ahead at the break, it looked like we’d easily double that margin in the second half. Instead, New York hit us for two goals that the Mayo management on the sideline wouldn’t have been happy about whereas we squandered five clear goal chances over the seventy minutes. In the end the Yanks kept their margin of defeat to fifteen points and they – and, one presumes, the Rossies – will be very pleased about that.

From our perspective, the biggest plus on the day was Ryan O’Donoghue’s performance. He shot 1-13, beating Conor Mortimer’s 1-12 tally from the 2004 fixture, which was the highest individual score by a Mayo player at this venue, and he was unmarkable in the first half.

The other record to fall today was the all-time appearance one, with Aidan O’Shea lining out for his county for the 186th time. He made his Championship debut here in the Bronx way back in 2009 and he played the full seventy minutes today.

The weather was warm and sunny, which made for tough playing conditions on the worn-down synthetic surface. There was a huge air of occasion at the packed venue, with the novelty of this fixture underlined by the playing of the Star Spangled Banner as well as Amhrán na bhFiann.

We opened the scoring, Ryan from a free, but we should have had the ball in the net as early as the third minute. A lightning fast move saw Paddy Durcan clear in on goal but his shot thundered back off the upright.

New York opened their account with a score from Killian Butler but we responded with a neat score clipped over on the loop by Ryan. Aidan converted a free after he was fouled way out on the right and two further scores from Ryan, the first from a free and the second one a delicious one off his left, sent us four clear.

New York nearly raised a green flag then when Colm Reape went walkabout and Killian Butler tried to chip him after they’d turned over the ball. His effort went over the bar. Incredibly, the Mayo ‘keeper got caught in an almost identical position seconds later but this Exile effort went wide.

We then upped the ante. Ryan, fed by David McBrien, shot hard and low to the net and followed this up with three points, two from frees. Jack Carney, at full stride, thumped over a nice point and two further frees from Ryan, the first originally a mark but which was moved up and converted to a free, brought our tally to 1-11 at the break, the Belmullet man accounting for 1-9 of that total.

We made one change at the break, with Cillian O’Connor coming on for Bob Tuohy. On the resumption Ryan started up where he’d left off, with his tenth point of the game, and after Rob Wharton bagged the home team’s third point, Ryan knocked over another free. Paddy followed this up with one from play.

But then the Yanks, courtesy of a Frank O’Reilly screamer, found the net at the Broadway end. The game was already gone from them but this score was a real morale-booster.

The exchanges were getting a bit tetchy in the heat of the afternoon. Tommy Conroy got taken out of it crudely and there was a bit of afters after the foul, the Mayo lads taking objection to what was a poor challenge.

That finished Tommy’s day, with Paul Towey replacing him as a blood sub. That explains why we made six changes today.

Darren McHale had come on for David McBrien by then as well. I think it’s fair to say that the experiment of playing the Ballagh’ man at midfield wasn’t the unqualified success management would have been hoping for.

We kept the scoreboard ticking over with points from Ryan (a free), Darren McHale and Fergal Boland. But then New York’s captain Jamie Boyle found the net for them and another outsized roar reverberated around the Bronx.

We responded with a goal of our own. Paul Towey was pulled down as he bore down on goal and Cillian O’Connor dispatched the resultant penalty. After Aidan hit the upright with a goal chance, Cillian pounced on the rebound and pointed.

We continued to run the bench, with Enda Hession (for Stephen Coen), Michael Plunkett (For Eoghan McLaughlin) and county debutant Conor Hunt (for Paddy Durcan) all getting game time before the finish.

The game petered out in the closing stages. Paul Towey scored a point but then missed a goal chance from point-blank range, the ‘keeper diverting the ball away with his foot. Then Sam Callinan was played in but he shot tamely right at the ‘keeper.

The impressive Frank O’Reilly bagged two points from play before Jack Carney notched his second and Ryan brought his personal tally to 1-13 to close our account on the scoreboard. Perhaps fittingly, however, the Exiles, via Killian Butler, bagged the final score of the afternoon at Gaelic Park.

This weekend – which will live long in the memory, for many different reasons – was always about more than a game of football. Given the unique nature of this fixture, not least the tricky playing surface, it’s difficult to read too much into how this game panned out for us.

That said, I’m not sure the travelling party will be crossing back across the Atlantic with a feeling of full satisfaction, after what was a sloppy enough performance from them today. While they did enough to win with ease, the goals conceded, not to mention the goal chances we failed to convert ourselves, will be a cause for concern.

From a results point of view, however, this box has now been ticked and the show moves on, all the way back to Dr Hyde Park and Roscommon in two weeks time. That date will, I’m sure, feature in many post-game chats over here, as most of the Mayo people who travelled over for the weekend prepare to enjoy a final night in the city that never sleeps.

Mayo: Colm Reape; Jack Coyne, Rory Brickenden, Sam Callinan; Paddy Durcan (0-1), Stephen Coen, Eoghan McLaughlin; David McBrien, Matthew Ruane; Bob Tuohy, Fergal Boland (0-1), Jack Carney (0-2); Aidan O’Shea (0-1, free), Tommy Conroy, Ryan O’Donoghue (1-13, nine frees). Subs: Cillian O’Connor (1-1, penalty goal) for Tuohy, Darren McHale (0-1) for McBrien, Paul Towey (0-1) for Conroy (blood), Enda Hession for Coen, Michael Plunkett for McLaughlin, Conor Hunt for Durcan.

Who was our MOTM against New York? Pick your top three performers

  • Ryan O'Donoghue (45%, 667 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (10%, 151 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (8%, 119 Votes)
  • Jack Carney (8%, 113 Votes)
  • Matthew Ruane (7%, 98 Votes)
  • Fergal Boland (3%, 50 Votes)
  • Cillian O'Connor (2%, 36 Votes)
  • Paul Towey (2%, 32 Votes)
  • Sam Callinan (2%, 24 Votes)
  • David McBrien (2%, 24 Votes)
  • Conor Hunt (1%, 22 Votes)
  • Jack Coyne (1%, 21 Votes)
  • Stephen Coen (1%, 19 Votes)
  • Colm Reape (1%, 18 Votes)
  • Eoghan McLaughlin (1%, 17 Votes)
  • Rory Brickenden (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Darren McHale (1%, 14 Votes)
  • Tommy Conroy (1%, 13 Votes)
  • Enda Hession (1%, 9 Votes)
  • Bob Tuohy (0%, 6 Votes)
  • Michael Plunkett (0%, 6 Votes)

Total Voters: 790

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52 thoughts on “New York 2-6 Mayo 2-21: Exiles go down fighting

  1. Job done by the team & management and hopefully nobody picked up an injury. All eyes on to Roscommon next who we will need to be much improved for. Not too many positives to be taken from the performance today, i’m sure there is a few positions up for grabs in two weeks time with returning players.

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see 3-4 changes for Roscommon game with McHugh (to pick up smith), Diarmuid, Jordan and possibly Enda Hession starting.

  2. Thought we would be more clinical but take Ryan’s performance out of it we were poor. The surface does make a difference so who knows if this was just a training game. As I’ve said I’ll hold judgement til The Hyde visit..

  3. When will we know the kick off time for the roscommon game on the 21st. Not reading too much into today except as I have said many times. The stupidity of the goal keeper coming out the field. Absolute kamikaze stuff and on the law of averages will get caught out.

  4. The most obvious pattern of concern remains as is…the over reliance on ROD up front. No score from Conroy today and AOS is not a scoring threat.

    We can’t use the excuse of it being a virtual challenge match or the astro pitch- the reliance on ROD has been there for some time.

    We should experiment with a new FF. I’d try Tuohy in there to see how he’d do.

  5. @Craggy boglands: Currently listed as 16:00 throw-in ( That said, I wouldn’t make any firm plans around a time until they release the ticket sales.

    We will absolutely get caught out this year on the sweeper keeper. Potentially multiple times. We’ll also benefit from it. Potentially even more times.

    Some benefits are direct and obvious like Colm sweeping up two potential goal chances that would have been on without him today but more often it’ll be a case of the ball never getting played to begin with because of his presence in an area, so hard to put a direct figure on how much we’re gaining in any individual game.

    We came out well ahead in each and every league game where we used it this year. Ahead again today (and would have at least broken even if either of the two lob chances had finished in the net). There’s no question in my mind they’ll keep using it throughout the year. Even if/when we do get caught out once or twice.

  6. I have to laugh at the US anthem being played before the game….not sure God Save The King gets an airing for the corresponding fixture in Ruislip!

  7. Will our commentators stop using ” hop ball” it’s an effing thtow up and the one today saw a ‘yellow’ for a New Yorker which should have warranted a free out. We played a good few players out of their normal positions today: was it a ploy???

  8. Colm Reape is an outstanding keeper..However he is not perfect..One throw up resulted in a restart not going the required distance today. Two more were very close to the same outcome I taught . Colm needs to brush up on a few little things..I agree totally that Colm is without any doubt the most comfortable playing out the field sweeper keeper, as is the current fashion .. But on restarts and staying in goal Id be thinking Robbie Hennelly.

  9. @citog: Seems a rather obscure thing to take issue with.

    It’s colloquially and widely referred to as a hop-ball across the country, likely due to back in the day where it was referred to as that in the rule book. So I probably wouldn’t expect them to stop any time soon given its lifetime of use for many folks.

    Funnily enough, not sure I’ve seen it ever referred to as a “throw-up” anywhere official. It’s a “throw-in” as the current term used in the 2024 rules, and anywhere I’ve seen where they define the action.

  10. ‘Hop Ball’ it certainly aint?. Another strange use of words often in sport or just life in general is ‘A Near Miss’..the only thing near about a ‘near miss’ is that it was the opposite ..Its really a ‘Near Hit’

  11. What are peoples thoughts on ROD giving the penalty to COC

    2-13 would have been some tally.

    No denying it COC is a better penalty taker. Probably the best in the country to be fair.

    The issue will be what if COC is not on the pitch for the next one.

  12. Bizarre positioning of David McBrien only proved how much we need him at FB. CHB and Midfield not strong enough. With only ROD a scoring treath upfront, we are not it good shape. J Flynn and DOC badly needed to put some shape to the team but too many passengers to be serious contenders.

  13. I have heard the ‘throw up’term used a fair bit a games recently @citóg, usually preceeded by ”makes me wanta’.

  14. In my view our mgmt will be slow to change any of these selection/form issues.
    Aidan in a game we dominated was not effective in the forwards. I believe he’s a sub brought on as a defensive midfielder after 20 mins.
    Tommy Conroy is struggling. David McBrien can only be played full back is clear.

  15. David mc Brien needs to be left at full back no doubt about it.

    We were badly missing Jordan flynn and Diarmuid o Connor when we have the 2 of them back we are so much stronger.

    @margie I totally agree with you regards Tommy conroy he does soo much work off the ball people are not seeing that. He’s lacking a bit of a confidence but as you said before guys marking him have to foul him because if they don’t out he’s out of sight with his pace and will score.

    Towey is a good player but he’s no where near the likes of conroy. Towey deserves a start but not a start v rossies.

  16. People do realise that 1-10 of Mayo scores came from frees because our forwards were being consistently fouled when getting into scoring positions.

  17. @tonyfreeman. That’s actually a good point that often bypasses people. A so-called tapover free was initially a tapover point from play before the foul. Sometimes I wonder should the opposition resist fouling as mayo are good at missing a tapover from play.

  18. The ball used to be hopped for a hop ball and hence the term. It is something that people understand and somehow sounds better than a sickly throw up or a rugger like throw in. Semantics that reflects the New York match sheds no light on our prospects.

  19. I just worry how sustainable is that playing style of Tommy? He’s not all that thick built, taking a heavy foul tumble a few times a game. His first instinct is to run hard, that can be at times the best thing to do, but you also need the ability to work yourself or someone else to an open shooting space.

  20. Well done, job done, however wasn’t at all happy with this performance, just to remind us that we were playing New York, a team that hadn’t much training done as a team,
    To concede 2 goals, to be turned over several times at the other end ,and having to rely on one forward to get most of scores, very disappointing all round ,
    I am sure Roscommon has less worries this morning after watching this performance,
    I suppose a win is a win but far from convincing, Hon Mayo,

  21. Heard paddy durcan speaking after the game he was like obviously from going by that gane we’ve lots to work on but did say it can be avstrange venue to go to where as in Ireland you have your own routines before a big game etc.

    As he said job done and got the result. I wouldn’t read to much into this game it’s actually better we didn’t win by 25 points or something mad like that it certainly will keep us all level headed let the rossies build themselves up no harm at all us going in under the radar a bit..!

  22. Thanks for that Muckle. I was wondering if I was getting Alzheimer’s as when I played it was always a hop ball. In this world of political correctness one never knows. I heard a Democratic Senator in the US saying there are now 3 sexes. What’s a disallowed goal I wonder!
    Moving on to Roscommon and I really don’t care how we do as the football only starts with the Round Robin. Remember last year how we played a week after the League Final and lost. Look at Leitrim and especially Westmeath and perhaps that might teach the GAA hierarchy something.

  23. @Tony Freeman you can’t rely on playing for frees for points when playing the bigger teams, they’re too smart for that.

  24. Very average but also not that far off with a few tweaks. Having watched it back, I think a few things are being worked on for attack but execution letting us down. Handpass needs to be into chest, decoy runs need to be exactly that, hard decoy runs, the man running towards goal needs to see the play and pick the right pass, this won’t always be the man running back out i.e., Aido, but could be a pop pass over the back. Time and again we pick the wrong option on the ball, pick a man running into traffic.

    As for Reape as sweeper keeper, Mayo need to wise up quickly, when do we ever tactically foul anyone? New York carried the ball straight through the middle, nobody laid a glove on him (Tommy was horsed out of it like a loaf of bread as a famous Kerry man once said) and he kicked inside to his forward one on one with Brickenden, Reape nearly lobbed. Not Reapes fault in my opinion, he was out after the free and is playing as a sweeper. That’s on our pressure up front.

    Hopefully James Carr is nearing fitness. Tommy lacking confidence, first half should have ran hard as an option for McLaughlin and he jogged to his left. In the end he won a free but he had a simple tap over point if he kept going hard and McLaughlin had played the pass.

    Players are pretty much there, execution and coaching needed.

  25. Re: Tommy Conroy

    His quality and attitude is absolutely not in doubt but surely everyone can agree he is still a good bit off the levels he was hitting in 2020/21 when he looked close to unplayable at times.

    Maybe it’s just a confidence thing where one day it will click against a good team for him and he instantly sheds his inhibitions. That can happen with forwards

    Can’t remember the poster who made the very good point a few weeks back but a bit of a ‘less is more’ approach from Tommy could work, ie every time he gets the ball everything he does is at 90 miles an hour, he is forcing it at times, if smart defenders know he is going to put the head down and just try bull through every time he gets it then they will know just to stand off him.

    Would be worth studying someone like Shane McGuigan who always seems to be able to take that extra step and do things at his own pace.

    I’m like a broken record but AOS and Tommy simply have to start contributing on the scoreboard, no serious contenders is going to carry 2 non scoring inside forwards, and winning the odd free or providing the occasional assistance really doesn’t compensate for it

  26. @Brian – Majority were in scoring position and likely would have been converted as a score from play if the player was not fouled.

  27. The biggest issue I see with Tommy is that he does not use his head enough when on the ball. He constantly feels like he has to beat his man with speed. That’s not the case. The problem is that he has always had speed and it’s got him out of trouble at club and underage level. That won’t work at the business end of IC championship.

    For me he needs to start watching other players. Try to model his game off Darragh Canavan because they both have very similar attributes. Light, quick on their feet etc. But Canavan is very intelligent on the ball and that’s what Tommy needs to work on. You’d like to think McStay, an ex corner forward would be teaching him these things.

    As for the game yesterday, if ROD gets injured we don’t have a hope in hell of competing for a championship, let alone win one.

  28. He is winning scoreable frees every game but it’s worrying how Tommy isn’t even getting shooting opportunities in games. Like Boland missed a few shots yesterday but at least you’d be confident he’ll be more accurate next time. Tommy and Aidan aren’t even missing chances.

    Just on people saying if Ryan gets injured we’re done.. plenty were saying the same thing when Cillian got injured on the eve of the 21 championship. Yet we regrouped and had a very strong season.

    You will often find that other players step up to the plate when needed.

  29. Wide Ball, there is a bit in that alright, which was why was surprised ROD was left on, thought was great opportunity to play a half without him and see how we go.
    There was nothing to be gained by leaving him there all day.

  30. If Paul Towey had started yesterday instead of Ryan and given the frees he would have put up a similar tally IMO.

  31. The last 3 matches we have played, we haven’t been impressive. Fell over the line against Monaghan who looked lack luster yesterday, very poor against Derry & yes job done move on against New York but consistently isn’t there in our play. It’s trying out this & that but none of it is working to the extent management & indeed supporters would like. The Rossies will have a bite in them having been relegated but their quality of football is equal to ours, just slightly worse. Time will tell.

  32. Wide Ball – Cillian would also have put up similar scores yesterday if Ryan was absent. We would all be saying today how great it is to have two big scoring threats up front.

  33. On Conroy’s frees won… every single one of them was an intentional foul (rather than a mistimed or misplaced attempt at a genuine tackle) and should have resulted in yellow cards too. Would have changed the look of the game a lot if even a few more of those had been produced.

    Still not entirely sure how Ó’Conghalile (one looked borderline straight red without seeing the replay & a lot of petulant lashing out – that said, he looked a real player. You can see how he’d made those Dublin panels) or O’Dea (the most persistent fouling I’ve seen in years) didn’t see the line.

  34. Mayo could do with taking a leaf from their book Tsu, allowing players waltz through without laying a glove is madness. Unless we add some cynical fouling we are always vulnerable to a quick counter. The two New York goals yesterday were shocking defending, not tracking runners, not pressuring ball around midfield, no sweeper in place, defenders caught sprinting towards their own goal.

    I don’t condone cynical fouling, it’s more can’t beat them join them mentality. Firmly believe that any cynical foul should be punished by moving it forward 50 or even further, should result in an easy free, it’s the only way to stop it and will lead to much quicker open games. Why stop there, if it’s second cynical foul two shots at goal!

  35. Any word on injuries? Hopefully a clean bill of health for the Roscommon match.

    It’s an oddball fixture so folks on here shouldn’t be venting any criticism, I’d be more concerned about our u20’s losing to Leitrim.

  36. John Jennings – it’s a bit silly drawing conclusions just from the last 3 games. We were safe in the league before playing Derry and Monaghan. Why wouldn’t you include the Roscommon game prior to that?

  37. Why is Tommy given the 14 jersey, surely he is better suited to half forward or a roaming corner forward.

  38. @highorlow: McStay’s comments after the game suggested everyone came through the game fine (you’d have worried some slight concerns on Tommy with the blood injury & Bob coming off at H/T) & the latest updates on all the lads not involved yesterday were they were all on grass and going well. Clips of Jordan certainly had him moving freely whatever knock he had, though not sure if I remember spotting Donnacha, Diarmuid or James showing up in any of the New York promotional stuff.

    @MayoMayo1: Yeah. Sadly, we’d need to have been working a lot harder and paying attention at the times of the goals to be in a position to foul someone to prevent those.

    The first one was a catalogue of errors. Mattie failing to pressure in the middle. Sam switching off and letting his man gather it on the wing uncontested, and then not even sure who should have been picking of O’Reilly when he came through completely unmarked (Paddy? Was the closest to the zone and the one you’d have hoped would have spotted the danger, even if it was of someone elses root causing).

    The second goal predominantly on Coen getting done badly for pace (questions on effort and physicality that both could have made up for the lack of pace on that one) on a backdoor cut. That said, Liam Carney being able to run from our 45 to our 20 without a hand near him with Darren McHale, Rory Brickenden & David McBrien all taken out of the play with a simple handpass while applying next to zero pressure on Carney (McHale mainly at fault for the lack of pressure and Brick & McB for the being attracted to the ball rather than protecting the danger zone, or at the very least not busting a gut to pressure the player quickly if they did wrongly decide that was the best choice).

    That said, all of those are concentration issues rather than fundamentals of defending or strategy. They’ll rightly get shredded in a video session (as they will and are here) for the mistakes, but hopefully all stuff that can be more attributed to the 14 point leads we had when either were scored than anything else. Just hard to completely write off errors like that when they’re becoming a trend rather than an exception.

  39. I don’t think this is a game to be analysed in an depth, obviously when you are 10 points up players are not going to be putting their bodies on the line to stop a goal.

    I think it is just best to just park this game and move on.

    I still expect us to beat the Rossies by 4 or 5 points.

    But obviously bigger fish to fry down the line…

  40. @Thedarkyfinn yes they arrived back this morning as far as I know!

    @Driveitlong&hard your spot on the game was over when new york got the goals in yes sloppy but we probably let our guard down a bit I’d say anyway it’ll all be forgotten in 2 weeks in the Hyde still expecting us to beat them by 3 or 4.

  41. @Thedarkyfinn: No, Kevin said in some of the interviews they’d let the hair down & enjoy New York last night. Flying home tonight.

  42. Letting our guard down – isn’t that part of our problem. But I agree, a game not worth analyzing in depth
    Rossies will put pressure on our kickouts and will not lack confidence in their forwards giving us plenty to think about.
    DOC return would be a big boost for us. I think we will have too many strings to our bow for Roscommon. Can’t see anything but a comfortable enough win for Mayo but we can’t afford complacency

  43. The way the Mayo team played reminds me of the song by Christopher Cross….(Best that you can do) ”When you get caught between the moon and New York City”

  44. Game v Derry in the league Tommy Conroy got goal chance and missed. Paul Towey got same goal chance and took it very well. One example of many. People going on about we don’t have many scoring options, well Towey is one. Of course he won’t get to see much action. Same story, different year. Ability and form seems not be hghest requirement to play for Mayo. It’s personalities. The tale still wags the dog.

  45. Do a degree I think you are correct PW. But nowadays the corner forward has to do more than just be a finisher.

    We all know why Horan dropped Mortimer back in 2011/12. No doubt he was a great finisher, but his tackling and tracking etc was the issue.

    I would love to see Towey get more game time on a dry and fast sod.

    Is Loftus injured or has he just gone completely out of favour?

  46. Team I’d like to see face Roscommon:


    Hopefully on the beach you would have forward options in COC, Towey, McHale, Carr, Irwin. midfield you have Bob and in defence Coen, McLaughlin, Brickendon.

  47. Not too optimistic about the big one coming down the tracks. Only a rumour I heard in a gaa clubhouse in Kildare Sunday just gone, but, apparently, Burke is a cert to take up the reins after the All Ireland. That said, there’s a nasty sting in a dying wasp and I’ve a bad feeling. Hope I’m wrong.

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